‘No Stimulus Check, Medicare Programs and Unemployment’ Pave Difficult Roads for Immigrant Communities, Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

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The novel coronavirus pandemic has hit the world economy harshly. Not only has it rendered millions of jobs in the United States but has also infected over 236,732 citizens of the country.

The U.S. government has stepped in and announced to provide certain health and financial aids to its legal citizens amidst such a global health hazard. We recently covered the ‘$2 trillion recovery package’ that the White House sanctioned, in order to provide financial help to its fellow citizens.

You can check out if you fall under the spectrum of citizens eligible for this $1200 stimulus check, provided by the government.

The United States is home to an estimated 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants, along with their 3.5 million children. Despite contributing largely not only to the American population but also the revenue, these immigrants have no access to most, or in some cases ‘any’ health care or financial benefits provided by the federal government.

It is quite understandable that the Covid-19 doesn’t distinguish between a lawful U.S. citizen and an unauthorized immigrant living in the U.S, or a ‘non-resident alien’.

The economic conditions for these immigrants are so poor that ‘groups’ and individuals of such societies prefer not going to a medical centre for check up, in fears of getting deported or arrested.

Langley Park Neighbourhood Hits the Worst

With Covid-19 crippling the economy, immigrant communities are likely to be among the hardest hit. Among the many societies of the U.S. housing non-resident immigrants, one such neighbourhood is Langley Park.

Langley Park, a neighbourhood just seven miles from the White House, has been hit particularly more than the others.

This locality resides about 70% adults who are not lawful U.S. citizens, one of the highest rates in the country. Many here are undocumented.

It is home to countless cooks, construction workers and cleaners.

The people here lack health insurance and live in clamped quarters, causing vulnerabilities to families. Due to the pandemic, an estimated 20,000 people living here have no source of unemployment benefits or federal stimulus checks.

The zip code that includes Langley Park has had 97 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Thousands have lost jobs, while the ones who’ve still managed to secure theirs, work under dangerous levels of exposure to the virus, due to dire need of income, as they have rents to pay and mouths to feed.

Immigrants Dying Due to no Money for Checkups

Despite providing all sorts of financial and medical facilities to fellow citizens of the country, the government has overlooked the need of providing the same to millions of unauthorized immigrant communities.

Groups of people in the Langley Park neighbourhood shut themselves inside, when they started feeling sick but couldn’t visit the hospital because they lacked enough money for the check up, due to loss of jobs.

This resulted in deaths of more than 20 people.

It is estimated that approximately 7 million undocumented workers in the country, comprising of janitors, construction workers, landscapers and caregivers despite having health insurance, avoid seeking medical attention, in fears of getting arrested or deported.

Immigrants Ineligible for Medicaid Programs and Financial Aid, Despite Paying Taxes

The rules governing immigrants have only grown more stringent under the Trump government, increasing enforcement policies designed to prevent such immigrants from receiving benefits, like food stamps and Medicaid.

Last month, as states began issuing stay-at-home orders, Immigration and Customs Enforcement was still conducting raids.

The unfortunate news here is that despite paying their taxes on time, these immigrants are ineligible for emergency federal benefits or state unemployment insurance due to absence of valid work authorization.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, immigrants filing ITINs (taxpayer identification number) contribute around $11.74 billion to the state and local taxes each year.